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principle

upward buoyant force that is exerted on a

body immersed in a ﬂuid, whether fully or

partially submerged, is equal to the weight

of the ﬂuid that the body displaces and

acts in the upward direction at the center

of mass of the displaced ﬂuid.

Archimedes' principle is a law of physics

fundamental to ﬂuid mechanics. It was

formulated by Archimedes of Syracuse.[1]

Explanation

In On Floating Bodies, Archimedes

suggested that (c. 250 BC):

immersed in a stationary ﬂuid, is

buoyed up by an upthrust equal

to the weight of the ﬂuid

displaced by the object.

Formula

Consider a cube immersed in a ﬂuid, with

its sides parallel to the direction of gravity.

The ﬂuid will exert a normal force on each

face, and therefore only the forces on the

top and bottom faces will contribute to

buoyancy. The pressure difference

between the bottom and the top face is

directly proportional to the height

(difference in depth). Multiplying the

pressure difference by the area of a face

gives the net force on the cube – the

buoyancy, or the weight of the ﬂuid

displaced. By extending this reasoning to

irregular shapes, we can see that,

whatever the shape of the submerged

body, the buoyant force is equal to the

weight of the ﬂuid displaced.

proportional to the volume of the

displaced ﬂuid (if the surrounding ﬂuid is

of uniform density). The weight of the

object in the ﬂuid is reduced, because of

the force acting on it, which is called

upthrust. In simple terms, the principle

states that the buoyant force on an object

is equal to the weight of the ﬂuid displaced

by the object, or the density of the ﬂuid

multiplied by the submerged volume times

the gravitational constant, g. Thus, among

completely submerged objects with equal

masses, objects with greater volume have

greater buoyancy.

10 newtons when suspended by a string in

a vacuum with gravity acting on it.

Suppose that, when the rock is lowered

into water, it displaces water of weight 3

newtons. The force it then exerts on the

string from which it hangs would be 10

newtons minus the 3 newtons of buoyant

force: 10 − 3 = 7 newtons. Buoyancy

reduces the apparent weight of objects

that have sunk completely to the sea ﬂoor.

It is generally easier to lift an object up

through the water than it is to pull it out of

the water.

principle can be reformulated as follows:

which has been expanded by the mutual

volume

the immersed object relative to the density

of the ﬂuid can easily be calculated

without measuring any volume is

describing the measuring principle of a

dasymeter and of hydrostatic weighing.)

buoyancy will keep it aﬂoat.

When increasing speed or driving in a

curve, the air moves in the opposite

direction to the car's acceleration.

However, due to buoyancy, the balloon is

pushed "out of the way" by the air, and will

actually drift in the same direction as the

car's acceleration.

liquid exerts an upward force, which is

known as the buoyant force, that is

proportional to the weight of the displaced

liquid. The sum force acting on the object,

then, is equal to the difference between

the weight of the object ('down' force) and

the weight of displaced liquid ('up' force).

Equilibrium, or neutral buoyancy, is

achieved when these two weights (and

thus forces) are equal.

Reﬁnements

Archimedes' principle does not consider

the surface tension (capillarity) acting on

the body.[2] Moreover, Archimedes'

principle has been found to break down in

complex ﬂuids.[3]

Principle of ﬂotation

Archimedes' principle shows buoyant

force and displacement of ﬂuid. However,

the concept of Archimedes' principle can

be applied when considering why objects

ﬂoat. Proposition 5 of Archimedes' treatise

On Floating Bodies states that:

Any ﬂoating object displaces its

own weight of ﬂuid.

— Archimedes of Syracuse[4]

liquid surface (like a boat) or ﬂoating

submerged in a ﬂuid (like a submarine in

water or dirigible in air) the weight of the

displaced liquid equals the weight of the

object. Thus, only in the special case of

ﬂoating does the buoyant force acting on

an object equal the objects weight.

Consider a 1-ton block of solid iron. As

iron is nearly eight times as dense as

water, it displaces only 1/8 ton of water

when submerged, which is not enough to

keep it aﬂoat. Suppose the same iron

block is reshaped into a bowl. It still

weighs 1 ton, but when it is put in water, it

displaces a greater volume of water than

when it was a block. The deeper the iron

bowl is immersed, the more water it

displaces, and the greater the buoyant

force acting on it. When the buoyant force

equals 1 ton, it will sink no farther.

equal to its own weight, it ﬂoats. This is

often called the "principle of ﬂotation": A

ﬂoating object displaces a weight of ﬂuid

equal to its own weight. Every ship,

submarine, and dirigible must be designed

to displace a weight of ﬂuid at least equal

to its own weight. A 10,000-ton ship's hull

must be built wide enough, long enough

and deep enough to displace 10,000 tons

of water and still have some hull above the

water to prevent it from sinking. It needs

extra hull to ﬁght waves that would

otherwise ﬁll it and, by increasing its mass,

cause it to submerge. The same is true for

vessels in air: a dirigible that weighs 100

tons needs to displace 100 tons of air. If it

displaces more, it rises; if it displaces less,

it falls. If the dirigible displaces exactly its

weight, it hovers at a constant altitude.

It is important to realize that, while they

are related to it, the principle of ﬂotation

and the concept that a submerged object

displaces a volume of ﬂuid equal to its

own volume are not Archimedes' principle.

Archimedes' principle, as stated above,

equates the buoyant force to the weight of

the ﬂuid displaced.

Archimedes' principle is the meaning of

displaced volume. Common

demonstrations involve measuring the rise

in water level when an object ﬂoats on the

surface in order to calculate the displaced

water. This measurement approach fails

with a buoyant submerged object because

the rise in the water level is directly related

to the volume of the object and not the

mass (except if the effective density of the

object equals exactly the ﬂuid density).

Another common point of confusion

regarding Archimedes' principle is that it

only applies to ﬂoating objects that are

buoyant, not sunk objects. In the case of a

sunk object the mass of displaced ﬂuid is

less than the mass of the object.

See also

"Eureka", reportedly exclaimed by

Archimedes upon discovery that the

volume of displaced ﬂuid is equal to the

volume of the submerged object (note

that this idea is not Archimedes'

principle)

References

1. Acott, Chris (1999). "The diving "Law-

ers": A brief resume of their lives" . South

Paciﬁc Underwater Medicine Society

journal. 29 (1). ISSN 0813-1988 .

OCLC 16986801 . Retrieved 2009-06-13.

2. "Floater clustering in a standing wave:

Capillarity effects drive hydrophilic or

hydrophobic particles to congregate at

speciﬁc points on a wave" (PDF). 2005-06-

23.

3. "Archimedes’s principle gets updated".

R. Mark Wilson, Physics Today 65(9), 15

(2012); doi:10.1063/PT.3.1701

4. "The works of Archimedes" . p. 257.

Retrieved 11 March 2010. “Any solid

lighter than a ﬂuid will, if placed in the

ﬂuid, be so far immersed that the weight

of the solid will be equal to the weight of

the ﬂuid displaced.”

Retrieved from

"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?

title=Archimedes%27_principle&oldid=812018133"

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